Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Joys of Camden

When you think of Camden most people immediately think of the Market. Many climb on the Gatwick to London Train, jump on the Northern line and head to London’s largest outdoor market. Established in 1975 the market is a phenomenon which now attracts more than 150,000 a week to the North London Town. And I can totally understand why. The market is a real mix of cultures taking influences from all over the globe. From food to furnishings, fashion and art, this is the place to be to find some amazing treasures.

But Camden is much more than just a bustling market place selling stall after stall of goods. To begin with, the town has some of the best restaurants in London. Take Gilgamesh for instance. This epic pan-Asian restaurant situated right in the heart of the Stables Market, is a must when visiting. The impressive interior is enough to impress with floor to ceiling windows, a retractable roof and one of the most ornate bars I have ever seen in my life. To say that this place is one of the most visually pleasing restaurants is not an exaggeration. The restaurant is populated with marbled pillars, huge plant pot and bronze figures and exquisite handmade furniture. Enough about the surroundings, the food in Gilgamesh is out of this world. The menu offers a range of oriental delights and supplied me with flavours I had never experience before. The only downside was that there wasn’t enough. Gilgamesh offers a superb dining experience and one that I will definitely be repeating in the near future.

Camden is also home to some of the best night life London has to offer. The two main clubs in the town are KOKO and Proud. KOKO is an impressive music venue set in an old theatre and still has much of the theatrical boudoir charm. The venue itself is spread out over a number of different levels, with the dance floor on the ground and a more comfortable seating area on the second complete with an impressive roof terrace which looks down over Camden high street and Mornington crescent. I’ve been to both club nights and gigs at the venue, and I must admit the gig space was brilliant. The only pitfall was I thought the entrance fee was a little bit expensive and the drinks a little bit steep but sure that’s to be expected when you so near central London.

Proud situated in old horse stables and has a little bit of a trendier atmosphere than what I had expected from a venue in Camden. The venue is a contemporary Gallery and live music venue in the heart of the market place and hosts an excellent night out. The Gig room plays every type of music imaginable and definitely won’t disappoint. And when you done with all that dancing, why not settle down in one of the themed original stables and enjoy one of the scrumptious cocktails on the menu.

If you fancy a rest from all the hustle and bustle of Camden town then you’re in luck. Camden in situated right in the middle of some of London’s best parks, which include Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and regents park. You can get lost for hours in these vast areas of lakes and greenery . You’ll think you’re out in the country and not walking through central London. It’s even possible to get lost and not see another soul. Proper bliss if you just want to get away from it all. Hampstead Heath also offers you the chance to swim in either separate or mixed sexed pools and there’s even one for the dogs.

Camden really does have it all. From beautiful canal walks, very type of restaurant, great bars and night life to art and culture, it has to me a must on any visitor’s list. So, before you get back on the Gatwick Express, the best way to do it is to explore. You’ll never know what you’ll come across.

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